Orthodox Christian Studies Minor

The Orthodox Christian Studies minor is an interdisciplinary minor focusing on the faith, history, and cultural significance of the Orthodox Christian tradition.

No matter your major, critical study of the Orthodox Christian tradition offers insights and context for understanding some of the world’s most significant issues:

  • You’ll find a rich trove of artistic, cultural, historical, literary, philosophical, and religious resources for exploring the human condition past and present.
  • Orthodox Christian studies acts as a cultural bridge, connecting religious traditions from throughout Asia Minor, the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Russia.
  • You’ll gain a greater familiarity with the range of modern Orthodox cultures—from Moscow to Baghdad —that is essential for success in today’s global environment. 

Students are required to take Byzantine Christianity and can choose from elective courses* across several disciplines, including art and music history, classics, history, modern languages and literature, philosophy, and theology. Courses could include:

  • Byzantine and Western Art
  • Understanding Historical Change: Medieval
  • Russian Short Fiction
  • Byzantium and the West
  • Hospitality and Cosmopolitanism
  • The Crusades

*Courses that meet general college requirements or other major/minor requirements may be applied toward the completion of the Orthodox Studies minor. For example, THEO 3316, Byzantine Christianity, currently fulfills the sophomore theology core requirement.

Fordham University is the only university in the United States that offers a minor in Orthodox Christian Studies, supported by the Orthodox Christian Studies Center. The center’s mission is to foster intellectual inquiry by supporting scholarship and teaching in a way that is relevant to the ecclesial community, public discourse, and the promotion of Christian unity. The center serves as the locus of all curricular, research, and outreach activities related to the interdisciplinary study of Orthodox Christian traditions.

The minor consists of the following six courses

CourseTitleCredits
Required Courses 1
THEO 3316BYZANTINE CHRISTIANITY3
One course in Art History
Select one of the following:
EARLY MEDIEVAL ART
ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS
RUSSIAN ART OF THE AVANT-GARDE
One course in Art History
Select one of the following:
UNDERSTANDING HISTORICAL CHANGE: MEDIEVAL
UNDERSTANDING HISTORICAL CHANGE: MIDEAST
UNDERSTANDING HISTORICAL CHANGE: ISLAMIC HISTORY AND CULTURE
BYZANTIUM AND THE WEST
THE CRUSADES
REVOLUTIONARY AND SOVIET RUSSIA
OTTOMAN EMPIRE/ 1300-1800
RELIGION AND POLITICS IN ISLAMIC HISTORY
MEDIEVAL JERUSALEM
ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY
CONFESSIONS OF AUGUSTINE
HOSPITALITY AND COSMOPOLITANISM
CHRISTIANS, MUSLIMS, JEWS IN THE MEDIEVAL PERIOD
Electives 2
Select three additional electives 2
1

The two required courses, in general, are offered by the theology department every year.

2

No more than two electives can be from any one discipline.

Students should apply courses that meet general college requirements or other major/minor requirements towards the completion of this minor. For example, THEO 3316 BYZANTINE CHRISTIANITY currently fulfills the sophomore theology core requirement.

Should faculty sabbaticals or other developments create a situation that limits the availability of courses, the directors of the program would have the authority to amend the guidelines regarding the distribution of electives.

Availability

The minor in Orthodox Christian studies is available at Fordham College at Rose Hill and Fordham College at Lincoln Center.